Edgar Hoover led a deeply repressed sexual life, living with his mother until he was 40, awkwardly rejecting the attention of women and pouring his emotional, and at times, physical attention on his handsome deputy at the FBI, according to the new movie, "J. Edgar," directed by Clint Eastwood. Filmgoers never see the decades-long romance between the former FBI director, and his number two, Clyde Tolson, consummated, but there's plenty of loving glances, hand-holding and one scene with an aggressive, long, deep kiss. So was the most powerful man in America, who died in -- three years after the Stonewall riots marked the modern gay civil rights movement -- homosexual? I am agnostic about it.
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The secret life of J Edgar Hoover
J Edgar Hoover was a phenomenon. The first Director of the FBI , he remained in office for 48 years, from his appointment after the First World War to his death in , achieving fame and extraordinary power. For public consumption when he died, President Richard Nixon eulogised him as: "One of the giants… a national symbol of courage, patriotism and granite-like honesty and integrity.
In , the year the United States entered World War I , Hoover passed the bar and obtained a draft-exempt position as a clerk with the Department of Justice. Appointed as a special assistant to Attorney General A. Initially hailed as a success, the so-called Palmer Raids were soon criticized by many for violating the civil liberties of thousands of Americans. Palmer eventually resigned in disgrace, but Hoover emerged relatively unscathed, despite his role in planning and executing the raids. In , Hoover was named assistant director of the bureau.